Friday, 17 April 2015

life is pretty awesome

What a great week it's been! No, I haven't been on a holiday by myself, nor have I locked the children in the understairs cupboard. And I also don't mean boast, I am just happy. We spent a good week living side by side without being much in each others way. Ah the joys of older children! Even Alistair and James were happy to just do whatever little boys do, making a mess, jumping on the trampoline, kicking a ball, playing their Nintendos and they didn't even destroy anything, and they only lost one shoe. Of course I couldn't neglect them all day long so I booked them into  a holiday club for the afternoon, football and tennis at the local school. It was free!! Annie and Sam are fairly self contained anyway but to prevent boredom and arguments, the computer time restriction for Sam was lifted and he could stay in bed more or less for as long as he wanted. Annie went to  a sewing class for three afternoons. She also broke her wrist. It is an uncomplicated buckle fracture in case you are wondering. This is a partial fracture that heals quickly with a stookie. Annie has a splint instead, which gives her plenty of freedom to do what she likes to do. She'll tell you all about it in her own guest blog post about her sewing adventure.

I put all but the essential housework on hold. The house is not at its best but we are happy. I did clean the bathrooms today because I do have a grime limit. If I consider going to pee in the garden because I can't bear the loo, it is time to clean. I took Jack for long walks along the canal and the river Kelvin whilst the boys were at footie. The weather was ok Monday and has been perfect since. 

My joy of walking in the sunshine was diminished by the intensive search for a missing young woman who disappeared less than 5 minutes walk away from our house. I feel shaken. My thoughts are with her family and her friends. Her remains have been found. May she rest in peace.



Apart from walking, having coffee with two friends and staring into mid air I did plenty of sewing this week and I am very happy to present the first item of clothing made for myself. It even fits! I thought it was no good using fabric that I didn't love and I spent a long time searching for the right one. I find the fabric shops we have in this town disappointing. Don't get me wrong, there is a big selection of fabric but there is just nothing special. If I spend time making something to wear I want it to be different. I am I found a Robert Kaufman fabric that I really liked, the name is too long to bother with here but it has a retro look to it and is super bright.


Isn't this little bird lovely? I won it in Gina's give away just before Easter. Check out her blog, Fan My Flame, it is a great place to visit. I am hoping to make some birds myself. Soon.

The pattern I used was the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts. I was determined to use the time off work to make at least one of those tops and bought the pdf pattern for immediate download. I have had some terrible pdf patterns with parts not matching and the scale not being correct (despite printing the pattern without scaling as is usually required) but this one is a good one. All pages were clearly labelled with numbers and letters to match up. Easy. The advantage of a pdf pattern is that it is printed on normal paper, making it sturdy, which is good for multiple use. The instructions are clear and there is a glossary of terms at the end, which always helps. I did make some adjustments, for example I understitched all the facings, which gives a neat finish. I do like it neat. For the same reason I hand baste tricky bits. 





The only fiddly part was the gathered top, which goes all the way round. To get the gather right, the instructions said to divide the top into four parts (front, back and the two sleeve tops) and make two rows of machine basting on each of the four sides. It also suggested to set the tension to maximum, which does half the gathering for you. I only did the second row at high tension. Both good tips. Still, it was a bit fiddly to get it neat. I couldn't bear to do this a second time and hand basted to facing and top gather before stitching. Twice. I removed all the basting before turning the facing over and sewing it in the ditch. This was new to me, it means sewing right in the groove where the facing and the top meet, from the outside. It is pretty much invisible.





For good measure here a photo with my now to so coiffed hair, double chin and sun burn. Annie likes to take diagonal shots. I don't see the attraction but there you go.

Stay tuned for the next post, which will be another sewing post but written by Annie. Until then, have a lovely few days! Cx

P.S. Normal blether shall resume once I've got the sewing bug out of my system.

30 comments:

  1. That top looks great! I'd love to be able to create / alter clothes but I can't even sew on a button properly, hehe! Sounds like you've had a lovely week except for the missing person bit - I hadn't realised they'd found her remains, though I didn't think it likely she'd be found alive. What a terrible thing to happen so close to home.

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  2. lovely sewing. xx

    such sad news about the missing girl, I thought of you when I saw it on the news.......... x

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  3. A wonderfully bright and cheerful top and such neat sewing too.

    I went through a phase of taking diagonal pictures. I can't help tilting my head to one side to view them though, which seems to defeat the object. x

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  4. Super top Christina and a great photo of you too

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  5. Looks very summery, as does your hair. Nice job.

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  6. You look like such a happy person--such a beautiful, colorful top! So sorry about the missing girl. Terrible.

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  7. That is a lovely top - sounds tricky too. I approve of your decision to put housework on hold for the holidays.

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  8. What a lovely post, and your top is just fabulous - well done you! And I love, love, love your fabric choice.
    So tragic about the awful news,,I've been following it too and feel so desperately sad for her family & friends.
    Looking forward to hearing all about Annie's sewing adventure, and hope she heals quickly & well.
    Happy weekend, xx

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  9. What a brilliant top, clever you, and it suits you beautifully. Glad you had such a good week. Something similar happened in our little town a while back, it was deeply shocking, I still think about it now. I hope you have a good weekend Christina. I shall look forward to Annie's post. I find fabric very appealing at this time of year too, in autumn it's knitting, in spring it's sewing. CJ xx

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  10. What wonderful sewing, I love the material you have chosen it really suits you. Enjoy your sewing bug :)

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  11. I am very impressed with the top. I have pretty much given up making clothes and usually stick with things for the house, curtains, cushions and so on. I suppose clothes have become so cheap that every time I made something and was a bit disappointed in it I thought I would have been better going shopping! But the lure of having something as interesting and individual as your top is making me think I should have another go!

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  12. I think it sounds like a fantastic week, well minus the broken wrist and that poor, poor girl. It just goes to show you are never really safe, you have to watch your children all the time. How horrible! I hope it wasn't a random act, it is horrible any how you look at it but random just makes it worse some how.

    Okay onto better thoughts....your top is lovely and I thank you for the link for the pattern. Your sewing skills are much better than mine and I think you look fantastic in it, diagonal and all.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  13. It is wonderful that you are happy with life - despite considering peeing outside. Sorry to hear about your daughter's wrist - just as she is doing all of this sewing! Your top looks cute and comfortable. It is way above my sewing level.

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  14. It's a great looking top and you look great wearing it. Well done! Hope you're having a great weekend and Annie's wrist will heal soon. I'm looking forward to her guest post here.

    It's horrible what happened to that poor girl. Awful and shocking. My thoughts are with her friends and family. X

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  15. That is a great color on you! So sad to hear of tge missing girl near you. So tragic...
    -lisa

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  16. Wow well done Christine. I'm in awe of those who posess sewing skills. This is lovely on you, nice and bright and I love the retro feel to it. Glad to hear you are all having such a great time too! cheers Wendy

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  17. I am so impressed with that top! I really want to learn dressmaking.......one day I hope :) The fabric is beautiful and what a lovely photo of you x

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  18. Isn't it great when kids can keep themselves busy? I've only seen my older 2 once so far today - they needed a snack! But otherwise they've been in and out, chit-chatting and comparing books and ipad games. Bliss. My 6 year old has been more "present" but he's a total mommas' boy and will probably never leave his mommy's side. ( I can hope, can't I? :) ) Your top is spectacular. Your gathering sit perfectly at the neckline. I promised my daughter I'd sew her a skirt today. I guess I'd better go get started!

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  19. My daughter takes diagonal shots as well. Mine are beautifully framed and straight, hers... well. Nuff said.

    I love the top. It looks just right for a warm summer day. Isn't it good when you make something and then it works? (does that sound like somebody who has tried to make tops and had major failures in the past?)

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  20. Your new top came out so well! It looks great on you. I think it's wonderful that you're persevering with sewing, your creations are getting better and better. :)

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  21. Hey Christina,
    Ooh I love the top. And the less coiffed do. My hair is never coiffed. I try and convince myself that it's the surf betty look, but I'm a bit old for that now ;)) and yes very sad and tragic news about that poor girl.
    Have a great week, my friend.
    Leanne xx

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  22. Great top, love your choice of fabric it really does suit you.

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  23. What a fab job you've made of that top, Christina. I bet you'll get lots of people asking where you got it from! xx

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  24. I love your top - such a great fabric! Great pics of you too! I dusted down my sewing machine (it must be the time of year) but so far have just ordered some needles and browsed fabric online. You never know it might magically turn into something!! I've really been enjoying your posts even though my commenting had been very sporadic - hopefully I'm going to be back now. x

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  25. Love it Christina - your top and the new bob, it really suits you! x

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  26. I love that top - the colours and fabric are fab and you've made a very neat job of it. I'm going to explore that pattern myself - it looks very easy to wear. I haven't done any sewing for ages - I need to get into it again. Judy X

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  27. Beautiful top Christina, and looks so well made. I agree terrible news about the poor girl- absolutely horrific. Like you, I wish her eternal peace, and her family to heal as best they can X

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  28. Just love that top! Well done. Been thinking about sewing again and you are inspiring me.

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  29. Just love that top! Well done. Been thinking about sewing again and you are inspiring me.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx